Cyber Santa

iPhone Photo of the Week - Santa statue

What a week

Pilgrims Plunge, the town’s first traffic light, and now this.

The featured iPhone Photo of the Week was taken right here at the park!

iPhone Photo of the Week - Santa statue

And to think it’s only Wednesday.

“Come on, throw us a bone!”

Is that the message someone meant to send? You want a clearer, more straight-forward clue about Tuesday's announcement?

Then why the heck did you throw a bone at me?

My parking spot is on the other side of the Raven Parking Lot. That means a chain-link fence separates my car from someone else's.

Normally that's just fine. We co-exist in perfect harmony. Even wave at each other once in a while.

But I stepped out of my office a bit ago and….ewwww!

Someone apparently flung a perfectly good chicken bone at me. Or, rather, my car.

Actually, it was uneaten, a leg. Packed from home. Could it have been the last one in the picnic basket and siblings couldn't decide who deserved it more? … so one of them just grabbed it and pitched it over the fence?

As my inner Mrs. Koch told me (quite insistently) to go pick the chicken leg up and throw it away, a big black bird swooped down and hungrily took care of it for me.

If this had been a dream, I'd probably have it analyzed. But it actually happened, so we'll just chalk it up to life.

As we approach the announcement, I'm increasingly aware of the scrutiny each blog post is under, in the constant search for clues.

So we'll leave you with this: With our new ride, we're hoping to get a leg up on the competition.

Even the rumor mongers …

… are getting worn down.

Received this email snippet from our friend Lance at Screamscape today (Screamscape is a wildly popular rumor site for park and coaster enthusiasts):

What stinks about being in the rumor biz is that the rumors never stop.

Uh … job security, Lance?

“Oh, so THAT’S how it works!”

There's nothing like a ride simulation to help you finally figure out what it is you're promoting.

"Ohhhhhhhh…!" It gave me such a lift to finally "get it."

I mean the ride type has been around a long time. There's just a new way of getting from here to there that I finally understand.

Matt turned to me and all but dared me: Are you gonna ride it?

"Yes. Of course. With you. In the back."

Will laughed. He loves it when we sass each other.

And not to worry. A week from Tuesday you, too, will be able to watch the animation and do you own version of, "ohhhhhhhhh…!"

Rachel’s ruler

This is one of those "out of the mouths of babes" stories we love to hear.

Our friend Chris emailed us about an upcoming visit. His story about Rachel was so cute I asked if it was okay to post it on the HoliBlog.

He said yes:

We've been quietly planning a trip to Holiday World, and finally told our girls (ages 2 and 4) about the trip last night. Rachel, our oldest, has been begging to go all summer. It's a testimonial to your marketing department that she recognizes your logo. Your brand recognition to her ranks right up there with McDonald's and Coca-Cola. She points out every Holiday World logo she sees on billboards, print media, and TV.

If there's a Holiday World logo nearby, she'll see it and point it out.

What's really impressive is that she can remember her first trip there, which we took in June of 2006. She's excited about being able to ride even more of the rides this year. She even remembers that we hit a deer on the way down there and refers to it as "the time that Daddy broke the truck." It's not my fault that deer failed to yield the right-of-way!

Rachel has spent the bulk of the morning "packing" for the trip and piling it up at the top of the stairs. By noon, she'd amassed a plush toy collection that rivals any of your game booths, enough clothes for an entire season at Holiday World, her fold-up chair, and a ruler.

When I asked about the ruler, she said it was so she could see if she was "high enough to ride more rides." Yes, our house is full of ride enthusiasts. I suppose we'll have to re-join ACE once she gets tall enough to ride the coasters.

Anyways, I just wanted to drop you a note, as I figured you'd appreciate the story. My grandparents lived in Tell City, so I always enjoy making my way down to the area–lots of memories down there, including trips to Santa Claus Land.

I asked Chris to let us know how their trip went. Here's the rest of his story:

We made it to Holiday World as planned, despite a bit of deja vu.

Thursday afternoon, I was driving through downtown Indy to pick up my wife. On a whim, I decided to swing past the new stadium to show Rachel "the new Colts house."

We were a couple of blocks away from her work when I saw an El Camino come bounding out of a parking lot with its horn blasting. Before I can really register what's happening, the Camino jumps the curb and bounces into the side of my truck.

Yes, Paula, I am now two-for-two when it comes to accidents and trips to Holiday World.

Please understand that accidents are NOT a regular affair for us. These are the only two accidents that we've been involved in nearly 15 years. I'm no statistician, but I'm pretty sure the odds on this put it square in the category of ironic.

Fortunately, it was a low-speed accident. Nobody was injured, though Rachel was surprised to see that car bouncing off her door.

Despite this little setback, we had a fantastic time at the park on Friday.

Though I did take a pass on the bumper cars…

A phone call from Pennsylvania

A reporter called earlier today. He was following up on a rumor.

He works for the Allentown, Pennsylvania, paper and their local park had just sold one of their coasters to an undisclosed buyer.

The reporter saw rumors on the Internet that we were the mystery buyer.

I nearly choked, trying to suppress my laughter. How far will this go?

"I can confirm …" I began.


"I can confirm that there is a rumor online about that."

So…you're saying you can neither confirm nor deny.

(Hee! I've always wanted to say that!)

"That's correct … I can neither confirm nor deny."

(Several hours later and that's old news. The latest rumor is it's going to Germany.)


Here it comes

There is a sigh of relief around here as we complete our last day of "daily" operations.

We're still open weekends, of course, but not Monday through Friday (with the exception of Labor Day Monday).

The sighs continue as we start receiving phone calls, emails, and even an occasional visit from folks who are nearly (but not quite) speechless that we're not open daily through Labor Day.

If only it were so.

That was my school schedule back in Sacred Heart Elementary in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, many moons ago. But for some reason, around here school starts up in August.

This year, school started locally on August 12 (My youngest son's ninth birthday, poor lad).

There are still plenty of places that wait for Labor Day to start the new school year. And unfortunately people who live there sometimes assume it's the same all over.

I remember that first Monday after the daily season was over a number of years back … a van pulled up in front of the marketing office. A van full of kids.

Oh, no.

Dad hopped out, looking a little nervous. He bounded up the steps and walked into the office.

"Where's Santy Claus Land?"

Poor guy. Not only were we not open, we'd changed the name of the park.

He had one last hope: "Do you still have that dancing chicken?"


We loaded him up with brochures about the nearby Lincoln's boyhood home plus all the cave tours in a neighboring county.

He walked a little slower heading back to his van.

In the past, when we've been on the receiving end of, "That's crazy! Can't you do something about it?" we've never known what to say.

But now there is a grass-roots parents' organization called Save Indiana Summers. If you're in the mood to sign a petition and read up on some studies, please click over to their website.

But no matter when we end our daily season in the future, I'm sorry to say that chicken has danced his last cha-cha.

Designer hint

You never know who you'll encounter when out in the park.

This very tall dad is visiting with his family, including two very small daughters.

Small daughters, tall dad
In case you don't recognize the dad's legs, let's zoom out to get a look at this stately fellow.

Korey the Coaster Designer

Why, it's Korey from The Gravity Group! He's hanging out in Holidog's FunTown with his little girls while his lovely wife sneaks off to ride The Voyage.

Let's zoom out even more so you can see how Korey's almost as tall as the Holidog statue.

Korey and kidsWow.

He nearly reaches Holidog's chin,


Makes me wonder.

Would it be possible that Korey is the world's tallest?

I mean the World's Tallest Roller Coaster Designer?

It's certainly possible.

We should do some research.

Korey told me he reads the HoliBlog every day at lunch. Maybe he'll post a "Comment" to let us know if he holds the proud title.

Nice shirt there, Korey.

The downside

Once we start talking about an upcoming announcement, everyone wants to know: So, what is it? Come on, you can tell me. I won't tell.

Yeah, right.

They want us to spill our guts. Not gonna happen.

For most of us, toughing it out is not all that bad. It's just a few weeks. Sort of like keeping a Christmas present secret.

But a few on staff just about have to go into seclusion this time of the year.

So if you see a "yellow shirt" out in the park this weekend and call out, "Excuse me–" just meaning to ask the location of the closest Pepsi Oasis, please don't be offended if the response is, "I can't tell you! I simply can't tell anyone!"

Just shake your head and ask a "red shirt" or a "blue shirt" instead. They'll be happy to help.

Tomorrow’s hint, today

Okay, so Rich Davis over at the Evansville Courier & Press (remember his feature about the high Dive team?) is eager to break the story about our announcement.

It used to be you could tell a newspaper reporter something one day and it wouldn't show up in the paper until the next day. Those days are long gone. It's usually under an hour before the story appears online.

If that.

So thanks to Rich's skills as a journalist, he got a leg up on the next several hints.